Heat-assisted magnetic recording (HAMR) is often considered the next major step in the storage industry: it is predicted to increase the storage capacity, the read/write speed and the data lifetime of future hard disk drives. However, despite more than a decade of development work, the reliability is still a prime concern. Featuring an inherently fragile surface-plasmon resonator as a highly localized heat source, as part of a near-field transducer (NFT), the current industry concepts still fail to deliver drives with sufficient lifetime. This study presents a method to aid conventional NFT-designs by additional grazing-incidence laser illumination, which may open an alternative route to high-durability HAMR. Magnetic switching is demonstrated on consumer-grade CoCrPt perpendicular magnetic recording media using a green and a near-infrared diode laser. Sub-500 nm magnetic features are written in the absence of a NFT in a moderate bias field of only μ0H = 0.3 T with individual laser pulses of 40 mW power and 50 ns duration with a laser spot size of 3 μm (short axis) at the sample surface - six times larger than the magnetic features. Herein, the presence of a nanoscopic object, i.e., the tip of an atomic force microscope in the focus of the laser at the sample surface, has no impact on the recorded magnetic features - thus suggesting full compatibility with NFT-HAMR.
- Laser absorption
- Laser heating
- Thermally assisted magnetic recording
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Materials Science(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering